Building a nation
On July 1, 1867, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the Province of Canada unite to form the Dominion of Canada. The Province of Canada is divided into Ontario and Quebec. In 1870, Canada acquires the Northwest Territories from the Hudson’s Bay Company, and Manitoba becomes Canada’s fifth province.
In 1871, British Columbia joins Confederation as the sixth province, followed in 1873 by Prince Edward Island as the seventh. In 1876, the District of Keewatin is created from part of the Northwest Territories. In 1880, British rights to the Arctic islands pass to Canada. In 1881, the boundaries of Manitoba are extended eastward, an expansion that is contested by Ontario.
In 1895, the districts of Ungava, Mackenzie, Yukon, and Franklin join the existing districts in the Northwest Territories. The creation of the Franklin District acknowledges the inclusion of the Arctic islands in Canada. Three years later, the District of Yukon becomes a territory.
Alberta and Saskatchewan become the eighth and ninth provinces. The District of Keewatin is transferred back to the Northwest Territories. The boundaries of the renamed Northwest Territories are redefined one year later.
Ontario and Manitoba attain their present boundaries. Quebec’s northern boundary is extended to Hudson Bay and Hudson Strait. In 1927, the boundary dispute between Quebec and Labrador is settled when Labrador is ceded to Newfoundland. The dispute began in 1902 when Newfoundland started lumber operations along the Churchill River.
After a series of closely contested referendums to decide its political future, Newfoundland enters Confederation as the tenth province of Canada.
A third territory, Nunavut, is created by absorbing the eastern mainland portion of the Northwest Territories and most of the northern Arctic islands.